SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador - While busy preparing for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, El Salvador has been addressing some injury issues before the biennial competition opens next month.
Last week, head coach Agustin Castillo conducted training sessions without two players. Defender Miguel Granadino and midfielder Alex Larin, teammates at FAS, experienced right Achilles heel and right knee problems, respectively. Alianza midfielder Josue Odir Flores lessened the intensity of his workouts with left-quad discomfort. All three are expected to resume normal physical activities soon.
Fortunately, for Castillo, reinforcements will arrive this week. Defender Steve Purdy (Chivas USA/USA) and midfielder Richard Menjivar (Atlanta Silverbacks/USA) will link-up with two other foreign-based players, forwards Dustin Corea (Skive/Denmark) and Rafael Burgos (Kecskeméti/Hungary).
Burgos, who has scored 10 goals in 23 international appearances, had been out with an illness as well.
"This week I have fully incorporated the selection after I got sick a little, but that is in the past," said the 25-year-old on Friday.
El Salvador kicks off its eighth Gold Cup campaign against Trinidad & Tobago on July 8 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. In their only previous competition meeting (June 7, 2007), the Central Americans posted a 2-1 win. Dennis Alas netted the winning tally that day and is on this year's preliminary 35-man roster.
Castillo stated that he hopes to release his final roster by either June 25 or 26.